Men’s Soccer Prepares for Postseason

Gideon Hamot, Assistant Colgate Sports Editor

The Colgate men’s soccer team entered the final stretch of their season this week, recording a conference win over Lafayette 2-0 at Beyer-Small Field. The win boosted Colgate’s record to 7-3- 5 overall and 3-1-2 in conference. After hitting a midseason rough patch, in which the team only won two of their eight games, the Raiders have taken back to back 2-0 victories with a win the prior week over Bucknell.

Lafayette opened the game firing on offense as they were able to get two shots off within the opening 10 minutes; how- ever, neither of them were able to find the target and Colgate Junior goalkeeper Jacob Harris remained unchallenged.

Momentum quickly shifted as the Raiders were able to get into the attack- ing third and start creating chances. Senior striker Freddy Jonsson sent a header over the crossbar, and senior midfielder Oliver Harris was denied at point-blank by Leopard goalkeeper Alex Sutton to keep the game scoreless through twenty minutes. The Raiders kept the pressure on, and five minutes later junior defender Christian Clarke put a header into the box as senior midfielder and captain Tim Oberg found the ball during the resulting scramble in front of the net and knocked it in to put Colgate up 1-0. The teams continued to trade opportunities throughout the remaining twenty minutes, but neither was able to put a shot on goal as the half ended with the Raiders holding a slim 1-0 edge.

Colgate came out strong in the second half. Immediately challenging Lafayette with a series of corner kicks and shots on target in the first ten minutes. Despite a myriad of chances and putting four shots on net, the Raiders were not able to convert to extend their lead. Insurance would come in the 74th minute, when first-year midfielder Kian Alberto played a through ball to Jonsson at the top of the box, setting up the Swedish striker to fire the ball into the low right corner, extending the Raiders’ lead and securing a huge 2-0 win.

Colgate notably did not allow a single shot on goal the entire game, as the defense continued to prove themselves as one of the nation’s best. Offensively, this was the first time this season the team scored multiple goals in regulation in back-to-back contests. The win was much needed for the team and keeps the Raiders in the top half of the Patriot League standings and just one win away from clinching a playoff spot in the conference tournament.

The Raiders’ next game will be at Navy on October 28 at noon; then, they will finish the regular season at home on senior day November 2 at 6 p.m. against Boston University. These games will prove crucial to Colgate’s postseason hopes. Last season, with two sea- son-ending wins in a row, Colgate was able to position themselves for a league championship run.

The Raiders will also likely host a conference tournament game should they finish in fourth place or higher in the regular season standings, as well as a possible NCAA tournament game as they are currently 27th in the NCAA’s RPI rankings. The top 32 teams each play their first game of the tournament at home.

That being said, for Colgate Men’s Soccer to achieve and exceed the standard they set last postseason (a Patriot League title and incredible NCAA quarterfinal run), they must power through in the home stretch of the regular season.

Contact Gideon Hamot at [email protected]